Protecting Garden Furniture: What to do in Winter

October marks the beginning of the UK’s wettest period, and the beginning of colder, darker days. As we get closer to winter, the question of how to care for garden furniture is a popular one.

What is the best protection for outdoor wood furniture, and is storing garden furniture away for an extended period the best option?

If you have invested in a quality set of garden furniture, the way you maintain it year by year will ultimately affect how long it stays in top condition. We’ve gathered all our top tips to help you prepare for the season ahead – and many more.

Prepare Your Garden Furniture for Winter

The way you should prepare your garden furniture for winter will depend on the type of furniture you have.

However, there are some common things you should avoid for all garden furniture types. No matter your set-up, make sure you steer clear from abrasive cleaners and scourers, and avoid pressure washing your Kettler furniture too.

Preparing Wooden Garden Furniture

Wooden garden furniture on a patio

Autumn is the perfect time to clean hardwood garden furniture. We recommend doing this once a year. As well as getting rid of any mould, moss and debris, a thorough clean helps restore the original colour of the wood. To clean your wooden garden furniture well, we recommend:

  1. Brush down the furniture to remove leaves and larger bits of debris.
  2. Wash the furniture thoroughly with warm, soapy water and hardwood scrubbing pads. This step may require a little elbow grease, but is the best way to deal with ingrained dirt, moss and lichen.
  3. If the colour of your hardwood furniture has faded, you can also use a colour restorer at this stage.
  4. Protect the wood with a colour protector, a high quality furniture oil or a water and dirt repellent hardwood shield.

Preparing Wicker Garden Furniture

A garden furniture set on a patio

Synthetic wicker furniture sets are a durable and low-maintenance option. Like wooden furniture, it’s good practice to do a deep clean at least once a year, and autumn or winter is the ideal time. For an effective clean:

  1. Brush down the furniture to remove leaves and larger bits of debris.
  2. Wash the furniture thoroughly with a gentle cloth or some soft scrubbing pads, using warm soapy water or a specially made cleaner.
  3. Finish by applying a wicker protector to repel water and dirt.

You’ll find everything you need in our Wicker & Rattan Furniture Complete Care Kit.

Preparing Mesh Garden Furniture

A metal furniture set in a garden

It’s important to guard against rust with metal mesh garden furniture. Our THERMOGUARD+ dual finish coating is specifically designed to help your furniture withstand all weathers, but a little extra love and care will help keep your furniture looking fantastic for longer. Before winter, we recommend:

  1. Use a mild cleaner or gentle washing up liquid, and a soft scrubbing pad or cloth, to clean the furniture thoroughly.
  2. Make sure to rinse off all soap residue, then dry thoroughly. At this stage, if there are any chips in the paintwork of your mesh furniture, sand gently and apply touch-up paint.
  3. Coat with good quality car wax for added protection.

How to Store Garden Furniture

Three pieces of furniture with grey covers on

If storing your garden furniture somewhere dry, secure and free of damp is an option, this can be a practical solution in winter. However, some types of garden furniture need more protection than others.

Both hardwood and wicker furniture can stay outdoors all year round. If you don’t intend to pack away your wooden furniture, simply make sure it is well protected. The best protection for outdoor wooden furniture is a quality stain, an oil, or a hardwood shield. For wicker furniture, we recommend using a protective cover – these prevent UV and water damage.

On the other hand, where possible, storage is the best option for mesh furniture. By limiting exposure to harsh weather conditions and fluctuating temperatures, you can help ensure your furniture set lasts as long as possible. Simply pack the furniture away – ideally without covering it – and retrieve it when the good weather returns.

In any case, the key to proper storage is making sure your furniture is completely clean and dry before packing it away. This will prevent any lichen, fungal spores or mildew from appearing.

Get Ready for Winter

Now you know the most effective ways of cleaning and storing garden furniture, you just need the motivation to get started – and the right tools.

Check out our range of garden furniture cleaners and protectors to stock up on supplies. We also have custom-made protective covers for several of our outdoor furniture ranges.